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Local & Regional News
4:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Arkansas House OKs Nonpartisan Prosecutor Elections

The Arkansas House has approved a bill intended to remove party politics from the election of state  prosecutors.  

The lawmakers on Wednesday voted 63-24 to pass a bill making the state's 28 elected prosecuting attorneys nonpartisan positions. Candidates would no longer be listed on the ballot as Democrats or Republicans.

The bill calls for the state to collect prosecutor candidates' filing fees instead of political parties.

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Local & Regional News
4:51 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Large Sinkhole Puts Historic NW Arkansas Farm At Risk

Karee Barrett near a large sinkhole at her farm in Benton County.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich

A huge sinkhole appeared overnight in early March on a historic farm in Springtown in southwestern Benton County. No one was hurt, nor were any structures involved in the collapse. But as Jacqueline Froelich with station KUAF reports, the unique and ecologically sensitive site remains at risk.

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Health Rankings
3:34 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Why Ouachita County Ranked The Least Healthy County In Arkansas

Credit Flickr.com

The Arkansas Department of Health says Benton County is ranked the healthiest county in the state.

The annual County Health Rankings takes into account 30 considerations, like dentists in the area, the percentage of adults who smoke and the accessibility of healthy food.

Dr. Joe Bates, the Deputy State Health Officer, said Ouachita County has the least healthy residents in the state.

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Local & Regional News
3:28 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Arkansas Panel Rejects Private School Tax Credit Bill

A proposal to offer a 100 percent state tax credit for donations to a scholarship fund for private schools has failed to clear an Arkansas Senate committee.

The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday rejected the tax credit proposal on a voice vote, with the measure appearing to receive only three "yes" votes and two "no's" from the eight-member panel.

Health Insurance Expansion
2:06 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

House Speaker Calls For Health Insurance Expansion Proposal This Week

Speaker Carter says it's time to get down to the details on health insurance expansion with the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Hear KUAR's interview with Arkansas Speaker of the House Davy Carter.

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter is wanting to see a written draft of a proposal to expand health coverage in the state by Friday.

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Local & Regional News
11:43 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Big River Steel CEO Hopes For Fall Groundbreaking

The developer behind a planned $1.1 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas says he hopes to break  ground on the project this fall if everything goes as planned.

The Legislature still needs to approve $125 million in state financing for the proposed Big River Steel mill to be built near Osceola.

Developer John Correnti spoke Tuesday with Mississippi County officials regarding the project.

According to the Courier News, Correnti says he hopes to have a construction and operating permit by the end of April.

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Local & Regional News
8:27 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Arkansas Bill Criminalizes Killing Fetus From Conception

The Arkansas House has approved a bill that would criminalize the killing of a fetus from the moment of conception.

The bill now goes back to the Senate to approve an amendment adding additional exemptions, such as fetal deaths resulting from contraceptives or reproductive technology.

Supporters say the bill would make it easier to prosecute criminal cases involving the death of a pregnant woman.

Abortion rights advocates have said they're concerned the bill would lay the groundwork for further abortion restrictions in the state.

 

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New LRSD Superintendent
8:16 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Little Rock Schools Get Interim Superintendent

The Little Rock School District says associate Superintendent Marvin Burton has been selected as interim superintendent of the district.

The school system said Tuesday that Burton will take over on Friday - after the resignation of current Superintendent Morris Holmes goes into effect.

The district says Burton will serve only until summer when Holmes' successor - Dexter Suggs - takes the job. Burton is the associate superintendent for secondary schools and has been with the district since 1989 as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. 

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Health Insurance Exchanges
10:13 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Cato Health Expert Tells Arkansas To Abandon Insurance Exchange Plans

Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute told lawmakers Tuesday that abandoning plans to partner with the federal government on a health insurance exchange would both benefit the state and reduce the power of the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute says Arkansas lawmakers should avoid as much state responsibility involved with the federal Affordable Care Act as possible.

The health policy expert from the Cato Institute, a public policy think tank dedicated to promoting free market principles, spoke with lawmakers Tuesday in the Senate Insurance and Commerce Committee to discuss the state’s options regarding what to do with its health insurance exchange.

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Local & Regional News
9:30 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

State Surgeon General Pushes Medicaid Expansion in Telephone Townhall

State Surgeon Gen. Dr. Joe Thompson

State Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson praised the Medicaid expansion provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in a telephonic townhall Tuesday night sponsored by the Arkansas Hospital Association. Whether or not to accept an expansion of the low-income health insurance program to people making up to 138 percent of the poverty level is currently being debated in the state general assembly.

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